The Agriturismo in Italy

Borgo Fattoria di San Donato - San Gimignano, Tuscany

Agriturismo lodging vacations, while very popular in Europe, are still little known in the United States.

During the past month I participated in two of the major intermational fairs dedicated to the promotion of this type of Italy vacation. Travel agents from all over the world were there. In Paestum, the famous archeological site South of Naples I even met a travel agent from Beijing looking for this type of travel.

Once the idea was born of agriturismo vacations, Italy saw a rapid growth of this type of travel in the 1980s. The primary purpose was to save a whole patrimony of rural real estate, which, for the most part, consisted of ancient stone buildings, many with historical, cultural and architectural importance, along with a large variety of farm houses of every form and size that had fallen into disrepair.

At the beginning, the idea spread most rapidly in Tuscany where there were vast numbers of rural properties. As descendants of the Medici family, one of the most financially powerful dynasties in the world, Tuscans were very quick to take advantage of the new business opportunities. No region in Italy can offer such a wide variety of Renaissance palazzos, villas, castles and convents as Tuscany can.

Responding more slowly to the concept at the beginning, but moving more quickly in the last few years, all regions in Italy are trying to cash in on this new business opportunity. At present, there is no Italian region that does not offer a network of these Italian vacation homes that are called Agriturismo. In addition, there are several organizations that bring together individual owners to help them understand the intricacies of the Italian bureaucracy.

Northern European vacationers have a great appetite for this type of lodging. They enjoy low-cost airlines to reach most of the best Italian destinations in less than two hours. Ask a Scandinavian tourist, the Dutch or even a German traveler what they think of Agriturismo and they will sing its praises. These groups comprise the bulk of this type of business in Italy.

I wish American tourists would learn a bit more about this lodging alternative. It offers a quality-cost ratio that is really interesting. Many of the “Agriturismi” are strategically located close to major Italian cities and tourist highlights. Public transportation in Italy is available almost everywhere and is remarkably dependable. During my last two meetings I was introduced to many more of these places scattered around the country. They are very appealing with affordable prices that can considerably reduce the huge gap in the exchange rate. I have gotten to know many of these places and would be happy to help you find an “Agriturismo” that fits into your Italy travel package.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about the options available. Call 507 287 8733. Write to:

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